Netflix vs. Hulu (Which is Better?)

Netflix and Hulu are both popular streaming services that provide original content at reasonably low prices. Netflix has a much more extensive content library which Hulu has difficulting competing with. However, it competes for customers by providing live TV and faster access to TV episodes, often the next day from network TV.

A significant disadvantage to Hulu is that it includes ads in its standard plans, and you need to pay more to get rid of them totally. Though the cost is still lower than the most expensive Netflix plans. 

We’re going to review both services to see why some people prefer Hulu over Netflix so that you can decide which option is best for you.

TrialNo Free Trial30 day Free Trial
PriceFrom $9 / Month$5.99/mo with ads
$12.99/mo no ads
Content Library15,000+4,150+
Supported DevicesAlmost everythingAnything you can stream to 
Original ContentMassiveLarge
Third-Party NetworksNoneYes

Netflix vs. Hulu: Pricing 

Netflix and Hulu both offer a range of prices for their service, and while Hulu can offer a slightly lower price, it has ads included in your programming. No Ads is one of the big benefits of streaming services, so Hulu loses the pricing category by making us watch ads. Netflix wins.

The cheapest plan with Netflix is $8.99 / Month, while Hulu can offer $6.99 / month services. Netflix offers the most expensive plan at $17.99 / Month, which gives you the best quality video and audio, as well as the ability to watch on more screens. Hulu’s most expensive plan is $12.99 / Month.

Hulu gives you a wide range of add-ons for third-party streaming and live tv, which can increase your monthly cost. This is something Netflix doesn’t offer. 

To get Hulu without ads, you need to pay for the top plan, which is $12.99 / Month, though this is still lower than some of the more expensive Netflix options. 

Netflix StandardHulu
PriceBasic: $8.99
Standard: $13.99
Premium: 17.99
With Ads: $6.99 / Month
No Ads: $12.99 / Month
Simultaneous ScreensBasic: 1
Standard: 2
Premium: 4
Simultaneous Device DownloadsBasic: 1
Standard: 2
Premium: 4
Max Total Downloads at Once10025
Amount of Content15,000+4,150+
Third-party streaming servicesNoYes
HD VideoBasic: No
Standard: Yes
Premium: Yes
Ultra HD VideoBasic: No
Standard: No
Premium: Yes

Who is Netflix Best Suited For?

Netflix is one of the most diverse streaming services around and would be a good fit for anybody wanting a broad range of constantly changing content. The original programming has a strong focus on a younger audience (under 30), so it may not appeal to some people.

Netflix Pros
  • Available on all devices and can be streamed from your phone to other devices.
  • Offline viewing of shows is available by downloading to your phone.
  • Huge range of original content, as well as constant new shows being added.
  • Pricing options that allow you to pick video/audio quality or keep costs low if you only watch on your phone.
Netflix Cons
  • Doesn’t provide access to any other streaming services or networks.
  • Strong focus on original content drama and fantasy categories.
  • No perks or benefits; you simply get a streaming service.
  • Your location sets which titles you get access to.

Who is Hulu Best Suited For?

Hulu is a great option for anybody looking for different original content while still having access to other streaming services and live TV from local broadcast stations. If you don’t like adverts, you can also get Hulu cheaper than many other streaming services.

Hulu has a much smaller content library, so if you’re not going to pay extra for live TV and additional streaming options, then you need to ensure the original content on Hulu appears to you. In addition, Hulu is more limited than Netflix and other services like Disney+ and Amazon Prime.

Hulu Pros
  • Access to third-party streaming services and live TV for an additional cost.
  • TV shows from networks are current, so you’re not waiting a year to see episodes.
  • Great original content is being made.
  • Ability to download and watch offline.
Hulu Cons
  • Hulu is only available in the United States and Japan
  • Hulu plans can come with advertisements.
  • All plans are limited to 2 streaming devices at once.
  • Missing seasons of TV shows, making it difficult to watch an entire show.

Netflix vs. Hulu: Content

Netflix and Hulu both provide great original content, though Netflix blows Hulu out of the water with the amount that it has and continues to produce. Hulu by its self can’t compete, which is why Netflix is the winner in the content category.

Hulu does offer several things that Netflix doesn’t, which are live TV from a variety of local broadcast networks, and faster access to TV shows. In addition, where Netflix could take a year to add a new season, Hulu is adding shows often the day after they air on the original channel.

Hulu also provides access to several third-party streaming services that you can include for an additional cost, which is a benefit when you’re trying to bundle services together.

Netflix vs. Hulu: Features

Netflix is the older and bigger streaming service that provides better features, even in the sense that Hulu is only available in the United States and Japan, so you can’t go traveling with Hulu, and you can’t watch it with foreign friends. So Netflix wins the overall features category.

Device Compatibility

Netflix and Hulu have similar device compatibility. However, Netflix has more, and it has an app available on more TVs and devices than Hulu. Part of this is because Hulu is only available in the United States and Japan. So some devices see no benefit in adding Hulu.

Download Content

Netflix allows you to download 100 pieces of content; this could include 100 episodes of a tv show or 100 movies or just a combination of that. On the other hand, Hulu only allows you to download 25 items, so Netflix clearly beats it there.

Closed Captioning

Netflix offers closed captioning on a massive range of titles in their catalog, and they continue to increase this. You can even get different languages so you can watch movies with foreign friends. Unfortunately, Hulu only offers English and Spanish closed captioning and doesn’t say how prevalent closed captioning is on their titles.

Languages Supported

Hulu supports English and Spanish, and that’s it. On the other hand, Netflix offers a wide range of different languages on many of its titles. This is primarily due to Netflix being available in more countries.

Audio and Video Quality

Netflix provides the best audio and video quality that your device and plan allow. Of course, you can also set the video quality in your app settings. On the other hand, Hulu simply gives you the best audio and video quality that your bandwidth, device, and tv show will allow.

Netflix vs. Hulu: User Experience

Netflix and Hulu have very comparable user interfaces, making the actual experience similar. You may even think that Hulu has borrowed Netflix’s design. The biggest downfall of Hulu’s user experience is the ads that Hulu makes you watch. Due to no ads, Netflix is the winner.

Netflix already won in another category due to Hulu having ads. Still, it’s such a poor user experience to make people watch ads while paying for a streaming service, even if they offer an ad-free option. My experience with them using ads is terrible.

The upside with Hulu’s user experience is that you don’t have to miss out on all your favorite network TV programs, as you can pay for live TV and get shows quicker on the Hulu service than other streaming services like Network. 

Netflix vs. Hulu: Verdict

Netflix won every category in this review, which you may or may not agree with. Hulu can’t go head to head with Netflix and win; the differences it provides let it continue to operate. I would imagine that most people with Hulu also have Netflix.

Netflix vs. Hulu: Which is Better?

Netflix is the best overall choice if you want a single low price for a more extensive range of content to watch. You can also use Netflix in almost any country and a variety of languages

Click here to sign up for Netflix.

Hulu is the better choice for users that enjoy some original programming but want to add more streaming services and live tv to a single package. 

Hulu offers different original programming, which you may prefer over Netflix. You can also bundle Disney+, as well as local live TV for an additional price. However, these benefits still come at additional cost, with live TV taking your pricing up to $65 / Month.

Click here to sign up for Hulu.

If Hulu is available to you, it may be a good option to try and watch the original programming for a month and then cancel your service to try other streaming services. Many people these days don’t stay loyal to services and simply pick the one they want that month to get a bigger variety of programming.